Rwandan teachers are set to get a teacher Ethics Code and Teacher Code of Conduct.
The codes are expected to be a basis for the standardisation of the teaching profession. They will describe the abilities, knowledge, and understanding that teachers need to provide quality education.
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Alison Oswald, the brain behind the code, said that the primary purpose of the code is to protect both the teachers and students.
“A code of conduct is part of providing quality education for Rwandan students because Rwanda as a country deserves the best and this cannot be possible without clear guidelines,” said Oswald.
She also said that the code of conduct helps in bringing schools in accordance with community values.
Some of the rights and responsibilities illustrated in the proposed code of conduct include; public speech, where a teacher is prohibited from vulgar or disrespectful language, confidential information, where a teacher is prohibited to share private information about the learner except with a parent or guardian.
Other items in the proposed code are about the use of alcohol and tobacco, dress code, sexual contact and romantic relationships among others.
The teachers’ rights proposed in the code include; Equal opportunity, right to engage in Religion and political activities which do not conflict with the professional responsibilities, contract and income, where a teacher is allowed to have external employment which does not interfere with the contractual obligations among other many rights.
According to Oswald, however, the code is likely to encounter limitations in implementation due to the fact that the people who are supposed to be involved in investigating misconducts are always busy. These include; school directors, school boards and District Education officers.
The code of conduct is expected to be approved by the Ministry of Education after which it will be attached to the January 2011 performance contracts.